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PLoS One. 2016 Mar 24;11(3):e0151712. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151712. eCollection 2016.

The Effects of Aroma Foot Massage on Blood Pressure and Anxiety in Japanese Community-Dwelling Men and Women: A Crossover Randomized Controlled Trial.

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Department of Public Health, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Japan.
Department of Public Health, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Epidemiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan.



The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of aroma foot massage on blood pressure, anxiety, and health-related quality of life (QOL) in Japanese community-dwelling men and women using a crossover randomized controlled trial.


Fifty-seven eligible participants (5 men and 52 women) aged 27 to 72 were randomly divided into 2 intervention groups (group A: n = 29; group B: n = 28) to participate in aroma foot massages 12 times during the 4-week intervention period. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP, respectively), heart rate, state anxiety, and health-related QOL were measured at the baseline, 4-week follow-up, and 8-week follow-up. The effects of the aroma foot massage intervention on these factors and the proportion of participants with anxiety were analyzed using a linear mixed-effect model for a crossover design adjusted for participant and period effects. Furthermore, the relationship between the changes in SBP and state anxiety among participants with relieved anxiety was assessed using a linear regression model.


Aroma foot massage significantly decreased the mean SBP (p = 0.02), DBP (p = 0.006), and state anxiety (p = 0.003) as well as the proportion of participants with anxiety (p = 0.003). Although it was not statistically significant (p = 0.088), aroma foot massage also increased the score of mental health-related QOL. The change in SBP had a significant and positive correlation with the change in state anxiety (p = 0.01) among participants with relieved anxiety.


The self-administered aroma foot massage intervention significantly decreased the mean SBP and DBP as well as the state anxiety score, and tended to increase the mental health-related QOL scores. The results suggest that aroma foot massage may be an easy and effective way to improve mental health and blood pressure.


University Hospital Medical Information Network 000014260.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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